The economic crisis affecting many European countries hit Greece especially hard. For a combination of various reasons, the debts of this state to foreign creditors were several times higher than the amount of Greek GDP. Of course, Greece was unable to pay such colossal sums on its own. A real threat of default looms over the country.
In the spring of 2012, private foreign investors, after long and tense negotiations on the restructuring of Greece's public debt, agreed to write off about 70% of its debt. This, of course, eased the country's position, but its debts still exceed GDP by more than one and a half times. There is still a real threat of Greece leaving the euro area. And this threatens with large financial losses and problems not only for Greece, but also for large European banks that have Greek securities as assets. After all, then they will not cost anything! In addition, there is a real danger that the situation in other problematic countries of the European Union will sharply aggravate along the chain, primarily in Spain, Italy and Portugal.
Foreign lenders condition further assistance with a number of conditions. In their opinion, in order to save the country from default and a possible exit from the Eurozone, the Greek government and people will have to agree to painful and unpopular measures. Among them: a significant cut in social benefits, benefits, a sharp cut in government spending, an increase in the retirement age for both men and women.
The government of the Federal Republic of Germany, the main "donor" of the European Union, has put forward particularly stringent demands, insisting that the Greek government should sharply intensify the fight against tax evaders and the dependent sentiments of its citizens. They say, the Greeks must finally understand that the patience and generosity of the European Union (in fact, the FRG) are not limitless, they need to learn to live within their means, earn more and spend less. At some points, the matter even reached the level of demands that the Greek government should henceforth agree with foreign creditors on all items of expenditure, that is, in fact, give up a part of state sovereignty.
The Greek government was forced to take a number of very unpopular measures. In particular, social payments have significantly decreased, and the size of pensions has decreased. It was decided to raise the retirement age. This caused a wave of protests and riots, which were especially strong in the capital of Greece - Athens. What will happen next and what new concessions the Greeks will make to creditors, the near future will show.